• INSA Projects
    • INSA members contributed to preparation of an anthology that brings world scholars together — representing disciplines such as psychology, social work, education, and psychiatry — using an interdisciplinary approach to offer an update on the field of school attendance and absenteeism, and to offer recommendations on how to understand and intervene. The anthology will be published by the Swedish Jerring Foundation (Jerringfonden), which partnered with INSA to support research on school attendance problems and to communicate knowledge on this issue. INSA’s Executive prepared and conducted the call for submissions of invited chapters. Copies will be available for free download from the websites of Jerringfonden and INSA. A few printed copies will be distributed to universities, authorities, and other relevant parties in Sweden. For further information contact Dr Malin Gren Landell.  
    • The INSA Executive Committee is collaborating with Dr Michele Capurso (Italy) in the preparation of a special issue of Continuity in Education, to be published in 2021. Information about the Call for Papers can be found here. For more information, contact the managing editors: Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Glenn Melvin, or Gil Keppens
    • INSA members in the Netherlands are collaborating on a study titled 'Know What Works' (Weten wat Werkt), supported by the 'Dutch National Expertise Team for School Refusal' (Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering). This is a national survey of Tier 3 interventions for school refusal, to identify those aspects of intervention which professionals, parents, and youth describe as helpful. A report of the initial results will be available in June 2021, and scientific journal articles will be prepared thereafter. The working definition of school refusal used in this study is: 'Reluctance or refusal to attend school, in association with emotional distress which is temporary (e.g., excessive fearfulness, unexplained physical symptoms) or chronic (e.g., depression), often leading to absence from school. The young person does not try to hide school absence from their parents, and they do not display severe antisocial behaviour. The parents have made efforts to get their child to school, and/or they express the intention for their child to attend school.' One of the themes of the study is 'collaboration', especially collaboration between professionals from education and mental health. A short video draws attention to some of the key aspects of collaboration. In the video, Chantal (from education) and Joost (from mental health care) explain how they collaborate when working in an alternative educational program (the Link in Almelo) for adolescents displaying school refusal. They discuss the strengths and difficulties in their collaboration by means of a 'marriage metaphor'. For information about the video or the 'Know What Works' project, contact Marije Brouwer-Borguis at m.brouwer@swv2301.nl.
    • Members of INSA contributed numerous articles to a Research Topic within Frontiers in Psychology and Frontiers in Education. The Research Topic is titled “School Attendance and Problematic School Absenteeism in Youth”, edited by Christopher Kearney, Carolina Gonzálvez, and David Heyne. 
    • INSA members from Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands are collaborating on a study titled 'On the Frontline'. Please see the brochure for details. This is a feasibility study of the implementation and evaluation of a school-based framework which accentuates early identification and response to emerging absenteeism. Early identification and response serves as prevention for the development of severe and chronic absenteeism. Contact: David Heyne (heyne@fsw.leidenuniv.nl).  
  • Other Projects
    • 'Preparing instruments to assess school attendance problems in Sweden and Finland': In an ongoing research project, assessment instruments are being prepared for use in Sweden and Finland. The revised version of the School Refusal Assessment Scale (SRAS-R; Kearney, 2002) as well as the Adapted SRAS-R (Heyne et al., 2017) have been translated into Swedish and Finnish, along with two newer instruments, the Inventory of School Attendance Problems (ISAP; Knollman et a., 2018) and the School Non-Attendance ChecKlist (SNACK; Heyne et al., 2019). "We wish to make these instruments available in Sweden and Finland", says project leader Katarina Alanko, from Åbo Academy University in Finland. Now that the instruments have been translated they will be evaluated for how psychometrically sound they are. A strength of the project is the parallel data collection in two countries. For example, both countries had different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (in Finland the schools were closed while they remained open in Sweden). "We are eager to compare results from the three different questionnaires that we included in this project," says Johan Strömbeck, PhD student, and responsible for the data collection in Sweden. "We are pleased to see that we have already received e-mails from practitioners who are interested in using these instruments." For more information, please contact: Katarina.alanko@abo.fi or johan.strombeck@abo.fi
    • ‘Patterns of school non-attendance: An optimal matching analysis of school attendance data.' School absenteeism is known to hamper academic achievement, predict a range of school-related problems and cause early school leaving. The need for effective intervention for school absenteeism is evident. However, intervention for school absenteeism is hindered by the lack of reliable criteria to differentiate between problematic and non-problematic school absenteeism. In this project, we aim to fill that gap by applying the relative new method of optimal matching to search for patterns in the timing, duration and sequence of school non-attendance. In addition, we will relate these identified patterns in non-attendance to educational outcomes and validate these patterns through a cross-national comparison between Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) and Denmark. Contact Gil Keppens.
    • International Comparative Perspectives on School Attendance Problems: This research project is funded by the Swedish Research Council. It started on January 1st, 2020 and will be carried out under four years, until, December 31st, 2023. The purpose of this study is to investigate national, organisational and individual dimensions of school attendance problems (SAP) among 15 to 17-year-olds in Sweden, the UK, Germany and Japan. The project uses a mixed method approach combining quantitative analysis of large-scale data on the national level with qualitative case studies on the organisational and individual level. Contact Susanne Kreitz-Sandberg
    • The KiTeS project stands for 'Kids & Teens at School'. It is a collaboration between Monash University in Australia, Warwick University in the UK, and Leiden University in the Netherlands. The study will assess school attendance problems in children and young people with an intellectual disability (ID) across mainstream and special schools. The three aims of the study are: (1) To establish the rate of school attendance problems in students with an intellectual disability; (2) To build a profile of the types of school attendance problems (e.g. school refusal, school withdrawal, truancy, school exclusion); and (3) To identify the factors associated with different types of school attendance problems. For further information see: https://www.monash.edu/medicine/scs/psychiatry/research/developmental/kites 
      Contact: Glenn Melvin (glenn.melvin@monash.edu). 

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